LAWRENCE (CBS) - An emergency meeting was held by the Lawrence City Council and the city's School Committee at the Lawrence Public Library Monday evening. Parents and teachers were allowed to raise concerns regarding a rise in violence in the district.
Madeline Rosa is a parent of a ninth grader at Lawrence High School and said she hasn't sent her daughter to class in a week.
"I refuse to send her there because when you send your child to school that's the only safe place, your child is supposed to be even safe and my daughter doesn't feel safe," Rosa said. "I'm so angry because it isn't anything new."
During the meeting, another mother said her senior is afraid to attend school---due to the recent rise in fights breaking out in the hallways at Lawrence High School--including one last week where two students were arrested, and a teacher injured.
"It's not OK if our faculty members are going into work and they're being assaulted because they're trying to break up fights, that's not OK," Yvonne Frazier said.
As a result, City Council and the School Committee sat down Monday --to a packed room --as concerns rolled in. Teachers are calling for the removal of the district's state receivership status and parents are calling for more staff.
"For over a decade the state has controlled education in Lawrence, and we need more parent involvement, we need more teacher voice," Lawrence Teachers' Union President Kimberly Barry said.
"We need more staff, we need more teachers, we need more guidance counselors, it's not OK," Frazier said.
Measures talked about by the school committee during the meeting included a new security task force and increasing student support and counseling.
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